So yesterday was leg day, my heavy ST day for legs and back. I was pretty freaking amazed to be able to squat 4 sets of 5 reps with 250 lbs on my back....straight up and down with no wobble. Deadlifts, while also heavy (3 sets of 5 at 315 lbs) were less graceful. Yeah I pulled the bar off the floor, but trainer-guy and I both agreed I looked like a drunk monkey flailing in quicksand....not smooth, not graceful....we'll stay at that weight for next time.
This AM, I'm sore, sore, sore doing the Zombie Walk as I putz around with my morning coffee (I'm keeping an eye out for Daryl Dixon in case I get a crossbow arrow in the forehead)
In between sets, trainer guy and I chatted up a couple of the 20-something gym rats. The preponderance of their statements were, "I'm eating 4 to 5,000 calories a day and I can't gain any weight"
I'm rocking on my heels listening to these monkeys, wondering how the hell I can eat 2,000 to 2,500 calories a day and not drop a pound. I felt like pulling a 3 stooges move on all of them
"WTF are you talking about? I've been working my ass off for months and can't get below 180 lbs, eating 2,000 cals/day"
I get the contemplative look that only 20-somethings can give to grown adults as they exercise great patience, attempting to pass on their deep knowledge and profound understanding to an out of touch generation who is unable to google the latest research.
"Yeah, well you really need to eat more if you want to put on muscle mass. I'm trying to bulk up"
I gave him my contemplative look that only 50-somethings can give to post-pubescent gym rats, as I exercise great patience, attempting to hold his attention on a topic other than himself for more than a minute. I decided to use my ninja conversational skills to re-direct his infatuation with self to solving my problem.
"OK, let's say you bulk up, and you then want to drop the fat to get cut. How do you do it?" (Always learn to speak the language of the natives, whether you're traveling in a foreign country or hanging out with meatheads)
"Oh, I start doing a lot more cardio and drop out all the carbs"
Now I think we're getting somewhere, but then trainer guy gives a nod over to the curl bar indicating we've talked enough, back to work.
"What the hell am I missing here? How can those morons have such a tough time gaining weight eating like rabid dogs, and I can't drop a pound eating like a normal person"
Trainer guy gives me that look he must have used in the Stasi interrogation rooms a million times as he elicited confessions from the innocent. In his thick German accent he just said, "He is 20. You are 50"
"Thanks Captain Obvious, so what the f#&@ does that mean?"
"What are your goals?"
See what I mean, just when I think I'm getting somewhere, the freaking Stasi interrogator switches it up. He might as well have asked me where the rebel bases are located.
"I'd like to be lean and strong" There, that ought to show him.
"Do you want to lift the heavy weights like we have been doing? If you get lean, you will not just lose fat, you will lose muscle too, it is inevitable (it sounded more like enough-a-double). Your lifting will suffer. What are your goals?"
He was like Laurence Olivier in Marathon Man with that same line, "What are your goals? Is it safe"
"Well, I like lifting heavy weights. I like being strong, I like my progress. But I wouldn't mind being 10 lbs lighter....10 lbs of fat that is, I don't want my lifting to suffer"
"You can't have both (it sounded like "U kent hev boat"). It is a myth that these kids think they can lose weight and keep their strength. When they drop weight, they look leaner, but their strength suffers. Then they eat more to get strong, and the leanness disappears. How iz your cardio?"
"I get in about an hour a day, 3 times a week, then you and I lift 3 other days"
"You need to do more. If you want to lose fat, you must do more cardio"
"You're F*@%# bagging me right! You're telling me I need to work out more?!?!?!" I felt like showing him my SP fitness tracker, but it would have been lost on him
"If you want to lose fat, you must do more cardio. Do you want to look strong or be strong? What are your goals?" He just stared me down like Arnold in Terminator.
"So what the hell am I supposed to do, cardio before we lift? Doesn't all this lifting count as cardio? I'm sweating like a racehorse in here"
"Strength Training is not cardio. Better to do cardio after you lift. Finish your last set"
So here I am, 53-years old, 184 lbs, rock-solid muscles in my back, chest, shoulders and legs like I have never had before, a 33 inch waist, pretty damn good endurance for high intensity cardio....and I'm kind of complaining on the margins about my last 10 lbs or trying to drop below 20% bodyfat.....it's a good problem to have.
I just need to figure out what my goals are!
Have a great day Spark friends!